I've decided that I want Heart Yourself Blog be all about powerful women stories. Todays guest writer is a friend of ours named Mary. This is her journey on what loving herself means.
As a young girl I was always very self-conscious. My family was very poor, so I didn't have the best clothes. I had gappy teeth, glasses, and acne-riddled skin. I was lanky and unsure of myself. I never felt good enough. I wasn't smart enough, pretty enough, athletic enough, funny enough. I felt like I didn't deserve friends, I didn't deserve a boyfriend, I didn't deserve love and laughter.
It has been a long and hard journey to move away from that place of sadness and anger. My journey started when I decided to drop out of college and join the Air Force. Basic training showed me that I was more capable than I was giving myself credit for. I had the ability to be strong and confident. Then I met my husband and had my children. Parenting brought a new wave of second-guessing and doubts. Am I patient enough? Kind enough? Loving enough? Am I good enough for my children?
After my second son was born, I decided that I needed to take control of my own life. I started running and lifting weights. I started writing poetry again. I started reading more than just parenting books. I found things that are important to me and I now make a conscious effort to make time for myself.
So what does it mean to be empowered? What does it mean to love yourself? Loving yourself means letting go of all the things that have ever held you back. It means finding things that make you happy and embracing them. It means not being ashamed of making yourself a priority. Empowered is that feeling when you cross the finish line of your first half marathon. Empowered means having the confidence to walk into a weight room full of muscular guys and not feeling embarrassed, but proud.
Loving yourself does not mean that you won't have moments of insecurity or self-doubt. It just means that you'll be able to overcome those thoughts and allow yourself to continue to grow and be happy with who you are and who you're becoming. -Mary